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Monday, 25 February 2008

Titus 2

"The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed."
Titus 2v3-5

My husband and I are currently considering what exactly the outworking of these verses is. In particular, what is meant by "keepers at home"? The Greek word is οἰκουρούς. I know that οἰκος means home/house and my Greek-English interlinear new testament translates the word literally as "house workers". I have had a brief search on the internet but presumably it is not a word used in modern Greek as everything I found relating to this word was about Titus 2.

The reason we are particularly considering the outworking of these verses is so that we know how we should be raising our daughter in terms of her expectations of her life as an adult.

(I grew up in a non-Christian family and I was expected to leave home and support myself once I had finished my education. After I left home I worked for two years before training as a teacher. I got married just after my teacher training and we intended that I would work as a teacher until we had children. However in God's providence I was unable to gain a post and although I registered as a supply teacher I only got a few days work in the first year we were married and then I became pregnant and was too ill to work. Looking back I can see lots of reasons why it was better that I was not out at work all day and I am glad that things worked out the way they did. However even within the church the expectation seems to be that the wife would work (by which I mean being in paid employment outside the home) until they have children. I can remember getting really fed up that every Sunday I would be asked, "Have you got a job yet Susan?" as if the most significant part of my life was finding a job.)

So the questions we are considering are:

Does this list apply to all young women?
I would say yes but because it talks about loving their husbands and children it could be argued that it is referring to married women with children. However surely it is important to be taught about these things (e.g. that we should love our husbands and what is meant by this) before we are married rather than after? (Like if you were going to paint a room, you wouldn't just set forth and paint it - you would find out how to do it either by asking experienced painters or by reading a book by someone who knows about it.)

What does "keeper at home" or "house worker" mean?
In our discussions so far we have concluded that being a "keeper at home" or "house worker" means that the woman has the home as her priority. In order for this to be the case she would therefore have to be at home for a significant proportion of her time. Based on Proverbs 31 there is nothing wrong with a woman spending time on things which bring in money but this passage implies that such occupation should not take up too much of her time or take her outside of the home too much as this would prevent her from making the home her priority. Also we concluded that she is to be busy. She is "keeping" the home or a house worker. This means that she will be working hard at the aspects of running a household (such as cooking, cleaning, looking after children etc.) - not spending her days at leisure. Although it is possible to run the household with minimal work (and indeed many people who work outside of the home do) the implication is presumably that it is important enough that a significant amount of time should be spent doing it (and of course one can make a much better job of it if one spends more time). (At this point I want to emphasise that I am not attacking anyone who does work fulltime outside of the home but am looking at this in terms of how we should raise our daughter.)

What are the implications of these verses?
If the verses apply to all women, then presumably we should raise our daughter to expect to stay at home until she is married and we should be teaching her how to "keep" a home. It would be reasonable to raise her to expect to do things which would contribute to the household income (whether that is our household while she is unmarried or her husband's household if she marries) but not to expect a "career".

I would appreciate comments which might help in our understanding of these verses and also if anyone knows of any books or websites which go into this in detail that would be helpful too.

Friday, 22 February 2008


Along with some oranges I'm making some marmalade with the kumquats. It's from a recipe in Nourishing Traditions so it'll be ready in three days time. I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

I received the booking form for Baby Girl's measles and mumps vaccinations so have got it filled in and ready to send off after Baby Girl's nap. I'm more or less caught up on all the thing I got behind on while I was having Baby Girl in the sling for naps which is nice. I just need to get our online grocery shopping done and then I can do some sewing.

Hope you all have a good weekend. :o)

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Kumquats and chewing gum

The mystery fruit is kumquat (thank Jimena).

Hubby had chewing gum on the sleeve of a shirt and the freezer didn't work so I searched the web for tips and found this one actually worked:
  • put washing up liquid on the chewing gum
  • rub in some salt
  • now rub the chewing gum off with a piece of fabric

I'm off to finish making fisherman's pie for dinner. :o)

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

At last...

...Baby Girl is taking naps in her cot. I think it's about two weeks I've been having her in the sling for naps because she had a cold so now I feel like I've got loads of extra time. :o)

On the vaccinations front, I e-mailed Health Choice UK and they can do Measles and Mumps vaccines which are produced without using cell-lines from aborted babies but not Rubella. I've asked for a booking form for the Measles and Mumps and we'll just have to carry on looking for somewhere that can do the Rubella.

I've been making my three monthly shopping list this week so today I was looking at the herbs. We don't really use tarragon and coriander very much so we decided not to get them anymore once they run out. We buy refills from a market stall so some of the herbs were in jars with incorrect labels which was very confusing so I made some new labels for all the herbs we will carry on buying:

Our fortnightly fruit box arrived just after lunch (we get a veg and a fruit box delivered alternate weeks) but it had the list for the veg box in instead of the fruit box. We got oranges, apples, lemons, bananas and grapes which I could identify but what are these?

They look a bit like miniature oranges and are about double the size of large grapes. If anyone knows what they are do let me know.

Monday, 18 February 2008

Our Living Room

You may remember a couple of weeks ago I said we had builders doing some work.
When they had finished the whole of downstairs was very dusty:

Fortunately they finished a day early and in two days I was able to transform the living room from this:

To this:

Since taking the photos, I've put all our pictures and photos back up and made a few more slight rearrangements. I also took the opportunity to create a home for my Household Organistion Folder:

It doesn't look so good in this photo but since then I've added a bit of material as a "table cloth" to make it look a bit nicer. The box contains Baby Girls next carseat in case you are wondering what we are doing with a gigantic cardboard box in our living room. (Actually we've just got the carseat out to put in the car as she's outgrown the one she's in so the old one will go in the box along with all the newborn baby things she no longer uses.)
Although it created a lot of work, it was a good opportunity to give everything a good clean (when else would I move all the furniture) and to rearrange things a bit and "declutter".
The kitchen was not so bad as we managed to get everything covered with plastic sheeting and there was less dust in there anyway.

Friday, 15 February 2008

My testimony

I thought it was about time I wrote my testimony so here goes...

I grew up "with" the church. I went to Sunday School from a young age and I have a recollection in my early childhood of my parents going to church. I can remember commenting that there weren't many cars parked in the town centre and my parents telling me it was because it was Sunday. My parents stopped going to church because they found my baby brother to be too disruptive in church and they never went back. However they still sent me and my brothers to Sunday School. Following on from Sunday School was the church youth group.

It is hard for me to comment on how good the teaching was in my home church for two reasons. Firstly, before I was saved I was spiritually blind and probably did not see the truth even when it was staring me in the face and secondly not long after I became a Christian the minister changed and the church went rapidly downhill. What I can say is that it was made up of both genuine Christians and people who weren't believers but thought Christianity was a "good thing" or who just went to church because they always had. Unfortunately the teaching whilst probably not "bad" was certainly not clear and lacked content. Sermons were more like "Thought for the Day" than real preaching and teaching. Also nobody ever told me about things like personal prayer and Bible Study. Looking back I can see that many of these people were true Christians and did spend time praying and studying the Bible but they were not well taught and they did not talk about it as they should have.

Most people in our church would get confirmed (the Anglican equivalent of church membership) when they were about thirteen at which point they would start taking communion. I guess I must have had some awareness of the meaning of this as I did not feel that I was ready for confirmation when I was thirteen and so I wasn't confirmed like most others in the church youth group. When I was seventeen we had a service to celebrate that our minister had been ordained for twenty-five years. I remember watching the huge number of people (some of whom I recognised and knew weren't regular churchgoers) who went up for communion and thinking, "How come all those people have been confirmed and yet they are not at church every week?" I made a promise to myself at that point that I would not get confirmed until I was committed enough to go to church every week. (The church youth group was on Sunday evenings and I only went to church for family services (first Sunday of the month) or other particular times such as Carol Service etc.) I somehow felt that it was wrong to make that commitment if I wasn't going to keep it.

So I grew up "with" the church but I wasn't clearly taught and I didn't truly know what Christianity was about. I believed in God and I knew that the Bible was true. I did once "decide" that God did not exist but this only lasted for an hour because I realised that I could not explain Jesus and his death if God did not exist. I used to read the Bible from time to time - sometimes reading through a book and sometimes just picking bits out. I was very unhappy both at home and at school in my early/mid teens and I would often look up the references in the front of my Gideon’s Bible. I can remember particularly disliking the Psalms because they would start off how I felt but then they would go all cheerful. At one point I even started reading the Bible from the beginning in order to work out how old the world was and got as far as Isaiah. I thought I was a Christian but really although I believed in the God of the Bible and believed the Bible to be true I did not know or understand what the Bible said so I was not truly a Christian.

When I went to university aged eighteen, because I considered myself to be a Christian I went along to the college Christian Union. This is how I first came to be a Christian. I had taken by Bible with me to university and I started praying every night when I went to bed. I did not know what to say so I used the words of the Lord's Prayer. The CU gave out details of churches and I chose to go to an evangelical Anglican church. I hadn't really thought about churches before I went and I chose the church because it was an Anglican church and I had already been to it because there was a University-wide CU meeting held there on Saturdays.

At the first Saturday meeting I picked up few leaflets. One was a small booklet titled "What is a Christian?" I remember reading in this book that we were all sinners and deserved to go to hell. It said that we needed to repent of our sins and that God could forgive us and accept Jesus' payment for our sins so that we could go to heaven. I can remember thinking, "That's not right, I'm not that bad." I decided that the booklet was incorrect about what made a Christian and still thought that I was one.

Through the preaching at church (they taught through books of the Bible which was absolutely amazing to me and really opened up God's word), the CU Bible Studies and the interaction with Christians in the CU I rapidly learned about a Christianity I had never known. This was a living faith.

I was amazed to discover that you could pray not just by yourself or as part of a church service but in small groups. It was not necessary to have a "set" prayer or to write out a prayer beforehand but you could "just pray". Not only that but people actually believed in prayer. Instead of being something you just "did" it was something real and powerful. Also you didn't have to just pray about general things (such as people in general, wars etc) but you could pray about specific things and all aspects of your life. You could turn to God about everything.

I found that people read their Bibles on a daily basis as a matter of course to learn about God. I began to do this too and in conjunction with the Bible Studies and the preaching at church I began to learn more about God and his relationship with us.

I had come from a culture where I was considered a bit weird because I said I was a Christian to one where there were many true Christians from whom I learnt a great deal.

When I went home that Christmas I went to church every Sunday morning.

Sometime during the next term I happened across the booklet I had read when I first arrived. I found that unlike the previous time I read it I actually agreed with what it said and could genuinely pray the prayer of repentance contained in it. It was only at that point that I realised that I hadn't been a Christian when I started University. I couldn't say exactly when it had happened but I knew that I was a Christian then and that I hadn't been four months earlier.

Since then I have been completely changed. I had many issues which I struggled with when I first left for university. God has helped me beyond my own strength to resolve almost all of these. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:13 Those which remain are circumstances which I cannot control and whilst I still pray about them, these no longer trouble me as they did because my hope is now in God. "For thou art my hope, O Lord GOD" Psalm 71:5a

"Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.

O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.

Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.

The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.

Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles."

Psalm 25

Thursday, 14 February 2008


I realised my sausage and leek recipe refers to my gravy recipe so I thought I'd better post it...


The quantities given are roughly what I use and is probably enough for about ten people but you can adjust them according to how many people you are feeding, what your personal preferences are, the size of the vegetables etc.

+ 1 medium onion
+ black pepper
+ 2tbsp cooking oil
+ 4tbsp flour
+ assorted vegetables (use what you are having for dinner anyway: an assortment roughly equivalent in size to the onion)
+ boiling water (full kettle)
+ a herb suitable for the chosen meat (I often use sage)


+ Medium pan
+ chopping board
+ sharp knife
+ wooden spoon
+ kettle
+ 3 in 1 blender (traditional and smoothie/soup making attachments)*
+ gravy boat if desired for serving


1. Reserve some of the vegetables prepared for cooking roughly equivalent to a medium onion in size (see ingredients) and put the kettle on to boil.

2. Chop onion roughly.

3. Put onion and other vegetables in blender and blend until most of the vegetables are of a grated/shredded vegetable consistency.

4. Heat oil on hob.

5. Carefully add vegetable mixture from blender and add black pepper. Stir until browned. (N.B. onion fumes can be quite strong.)

6. Take off heat, add flour and stir to form "roux". (This should mean that everything is evenly coated with an oil/flour mix.

7. Add about a pint of water (from kettle) and stir in until mixture is reasonably smooth.

8. Return to heat and bring to boil.

9. Remove from heat and use smoothie/soup attachment from blender to remove all remaining vegetable/roux lumps.

10. Ad herbs and return to heat.

11. Add water (from kettle) and stir in until desired consistency is gained.

12. Leave to simmer on low heat until the rest of the meal is ready.

13. If cooking a roast dinner, add juices from the joint when it is removed from the oven. (This step can be ignored if desired.)

14. When everything else is ready either pour over plates of food or put in gravy boat to serve.


i) If you don't have a blender, you can grate and finely chop the vegetables instead of putting them through the blender.

ii) This can be a sneaky way of getting vegetables into children who won't eat them.

iii) Left over gravy can be used as for soup, gravy or sauce.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

No post today

I'm working on writing up my testimony.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

The Mill on the Floss

I've been reading part of The Mill on the Floss to decide whether we should keep it or not. These are the points I have come up with about the book:
  1. Maggie (who is "almost" engaged to Philip) and Stephen (who is "almost" engaged to Lucy - Maggie's cousin and close friend) are mutually attracted to one another. They allow themselves to fall into temptation and Stephen persuades Maggie to elope. Maggie's conscience prevents her going through with it but Philip and Lucy have still been hurt in the process.
  2. Maggie (the main character) does not do something which is inherently morally wrong (although she was foolish and unwise and her actions and should have avoided temptation).
  3. Maggie clearly has a conscience about her actions and shows remorse.
  4. The book illustrates the danger of allowing oneself to fall into temptation. As Heather Gemmen says in her book Startling Beauty we are told to FLEE temptation - not just resist it.

I can't say that the overall plot is that amazing as a story but there doesn't seem to be anything objectionable in it so we will most likely keep it but I don't think we would have it at the top of the reading list.

The next book I will be looking at is The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.

Monday, 11 February 2008

When to do Bible Studies

My husband and I first started doing a Bible Study when we were engaged. Once we got married we tried to do it every day after dinner. This worked reasonably well but we weren't very regular at doing it and then when I got ill (with pregnancy) we ended up doing it even less frequently.

After Baby Girl was born, we restarted doing Family Bible Studies initially rather ad hoc before settling on mornings. Gradually mornings before hubby went to work got busier and we ended up only doing it at weekends.

Last November, we decided we needed a rethink as it clearly wasn't working and also we wanted to start using Robert M M'Cheynes plan in January which requires two Family Bible Studies per day. We rearranged mornings so that we could fit one in after breakfast before hubby goes to work and we decided to do the other one during Baby Girl's bedtime feed as that is the only time after hubby gets home before she goes to bed apart from bathtime and we didn't think bathtime would be an appropriate time. In the mornings we usually just do a Bible reading and in the evenings we usually discuss the passage a bit more and also pray and sing a Psalm.

The current system seems to be working so far but we have learnt that if it doesn't we should work out a time when we will do it rather than having a time where we don't.

It would be nice to know what others do so feel free to comment with how you do yours.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Have a good weekend

Haven't got time to do a "proper" post but I just wanted to say thanks for all the comments that have been left and that if you're on my blog roll I have been reading even if I haven't left a comment. Time to go feed Baby Girl...

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Bible Study

In January, we started as a family to use Robert Murray M'Cheyne's Daily Bread Bible reading plan. Although I have to admit we are a little bit behind on some of the readings, we have found it really useful. The way it works is that there are two personal Bible readings per day and two family Bible readings. This means that we are reading through the Bible at four different points making it much more easy to link up the different parts and see the unity of the Bible. We have also found it useful that in our personal Bible studies we are studying the same thing. It means we can discuss them together and as we have both read the same passage we can both contribute to it and learn better. I would definitely recommend this as a Bible reading plan.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008


A little while ago I came across this website: It got me thinking about our books and whether they are all suitable books to be read. I wouldn't advocate only ever reading specifically Christian books but we need to be discerning in what we read as they will influence pur heart and mind:

And he saith unto them, Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
Mark 7:18-23

So; my husband and I have agreed that we will sort through all our books and decide which ones are appropriate to keep and which are not. I will be doing most of the reading/sorting but once I have studied each book I will discuss the book with him so that he can make the final decision. We decided to start with the fiction books as they are more like to contain immorality whereas non-fiction would tend to present non-Christian world views such as evolutionism which we would consider to be incorrect rather than immoral.

I decided to start with our "classic" books as I think they are the ones most likely to be questionable. The website I linked to above used the following criteria to judge books: "Does the book have literary value? Does the book re-emphasize a Biblical worldview or the Judeo-Christian heritage in some way? Does the book teach, through whatever means, what is moral or just or true? Does the book encourage to love and good works? Does the book exemplify warmth, tenderness, courage, humor, and other values and characteristics that we desire our children to be exposed to? Does the book nourish the intellect and fire the imagination? Does the book cross age barriers to be enjoyed by all?" I am trying to use similar criteria and am thinking about whether I would be happy for Baby Girl to read a given book when she is older and what my reasons are for objecting or not. It is quite hard as obviously it is not reasonable to eliminate a book on the basis of a character's wrongdoing so I am having to consider what sort of transgression it is and how it is presented both in terms of narrative and moral stance. By this I mean: Does the author give unecessary/gratuitous detail about things which should/need not be described in so much detail? Is the overall impression given by the book that any sins committed were okay?

I decided straight away to eliminate Tess of the D'Urbervilles and to keep Little Women and Good Wives. I'm now studying The Mill on the Floss to decide whether we shoudl keep it or not. I'll hopefully put a list of the books I'm sorting through on my sidebar soon and I will keep blogging about my progress.

Was she copying me?

There's a certain bookshelf that Baby Girl gets to when she's walking round the furniture so we decided that when we put everything back in the living room we would put her books on that shelf for her. So yesterday I was working on cleaning/rearranging the bookcase on the other side of the room when I looked round and this is what I saw:

I don't know whether she was copying me or not but it made me smile :o)

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Our EC journey

I first found out about elimination communication through a moneysaving website. Someone had put a link to the Wilkipedia definition:

I read this and proceeded to read all the links and any other information I could find. The idea of practising elimination communication instantly appealed to me for a number of reasons. One reason was that it saves nappies and therefore money and waste. It seemed like such a natural way to deal with babies’ elimination needs. Once I had read about it, it almost seemed silly that I had never thought of it myself (and indeed some people have just thought of it themselves). It allows the child to be clean and dry the majority (if not all of) the time which is decidedly more pleasant and eliminates the common problem of nappy rash.

Another advantage is that it means starting the way you intend to go on with toilet training being a gradual process whereby the child gradually takes over responsibility as he is able. This is in contrast with the conventional method which involves starting with the child being expected to soil themselves and carry their waste next to their skin and then one day turning round and retraining them to do things another way. Of course the conventional method of nappies followed by toilet training works in the long run (after all if it didn’t, we’d all be walking round wearing nappies) but it is a long drawn out process often not enjoyed by either parent or child. It seemed to make sense that it is easier not to nappy train your child if you then want them to become “un-nappy trained” after two or three years.

So, I knew what elimination communication was, I thought it sounded like a good idea so what next? After discussing it with my husband, we decided to buy a couple of books about it in order to read up in slightly more detail than on the internet. Having read these, we were happy that we would give it a go with our first child whom at that time we were expecting. Although it is possible to do elimination communication without using any nappies at all, we decided to go for a more cautious approach whereby we would offer our baby the toilet but keep her in nappies to catch any “misses”. A miss is what would be called an “accident” in conventional toilet training. The term miss is a more positive term as it says to the child, “I missed you.” rather than, “You had an accident.”

The first days after our baby was born were such a whirlwind we really didn’t have time to think about elimination communication but when she was four days old we began. We started by holding her over a pot when we changed her nappy. Sometimes she did something, sometimes she didn’t. We started to look for signs of discomfort and change her and offer the pot if she seemed unhappy and the cause didn’t appear to be hunger or tiredness. We found that a particular time when she would need the toilet was when she stopped feeding part way through a feed. We started changing her nappy and offering her the pot at these times and found it meant she would then continue to feed again afterwards. I guess in a way it is similar to babies stopping feeding in order to burp.

At first we were just using an old plastic food container but it seemed silly tipping the contents down the toilet and rinsing the container when we could just hold her over the toilet so we started doing this. This also had the benefit of being an easier position to maintain as the baby could rest on our legs instead of being suspended in the air using our arms whilst kneeling on the floor and trying to aim into a little container.

Over time, we changed and offered the toilet more frequently. At first we found the nappy was always wet or dirty and most times she would also do something in the pot but gradually, the amount in the nappies decreased and the amount in the toilet increased. Using the toilet meant we caught more as it was easier to sit and wait during the slow newborn poo than it was holding her over a pot.

As our daughter got heavier, lifting her up to the toilet became a bit of a chore so we decided to buy a little potty. We chose a clear one as this means you can check whether they’ve done anything without having to lift them off. Personally, I preferred holding her on the toilet as it saved the work of cleaning out the potty so I used the toilet and my husband used the potty. At first she didn’t show any preference for either but then she began to show a preference for the potty for wees and the toilet for poos. I don’t know whether this was just caused by a difference in physical position or whether it was purely a preference. A little later she seemed to stop weeing in the potty but started weeing in the toilet much more easily. I don’t know why this change happened but as long as she is happy going somewhere other than a nappy, we are happy. She switched back o the potty again and since then we have bought a little toilet seat so we can now sit her on the toilet herself. We wondered what she would make of the toilet seat but she seems quite happy with it.

From when we started for about the first four months the number of misses we had decreased steadily until we were averaging about 2 ½ misses a day. This levelled out during the fifth month but then suddenly more than doubled almost overnight at just over five months. This is commonly known as a “potty pause” where misses increase relative to before. Sometimes they can last just a couple of days or a week or they can last months. Some people find them related to developmental stages (e.g. just before sitting, crawling, walking, cutting teeth etc.) but others find no obvious cause. In our case, the pause lasted almost three months and did not seem to be obviously connected to anything. In the past week, we have seen a massive and sudden change from around seven misses a day to two. This seems to have coincided with a decrease in the total number of wees done so presumably she has developed greater bladder capacity and control than she had before. (Our potty pause was wees only whereas for some people it is everything.)

So where do we go from here? Well hopefully we are on the home straight now towards toilet independence but even if we have more potty pauses on the way, we know our daughter has received great benefit from using elimination communication. Through it, we have been able to respond to her need/desire to be clean. She has never had nappy rash and she is happy to use the toilet just like we do. We started off using terry squares for nappies but as she only ever did one wee in them; we switched to muslin squares so our nappy laundry is almost non-existent despite using washable nappies (we just stick them in with the regular laundry). Instead of spending time and money buying nappies and wipes or having to clean her up instead this time is spent with our daughter when we take her to the toilet and this time is pleasant and enjoyable. If God chooses to bless us with more children I would definitely do it again.

Please do comment if you have any questions.

Monday, 4 February 2008

Basic HTML Part One

What is HTML? One Christmas one of my brothers was writing a thank you letter to an elderly relative. In it he wrote that he had got a book about HTML for Christmas. My mum pointed out that they would have no idea what that meant so he proceeded to add in brackets “hyper text mark up language”.
Unfortunately this didn’t make things any clearer. This is how I describe HTML to people: HTML works a bit like a word processor. In a word processor you enter your text and then you tell it how the text should be formatted (tables, bold, font, text colour text size, left or centre justified etc.). This is exactly what HTML does except that instead of clicking on buttons, you have to enter little bits of “code” or “tags” to tell the web browser how to arrange the text.

A full page of HTML consists of a “head” and a “body”. The head contains various information such as what version of HTML is being used, labels for search engines (called “meta” tags), the title of the page (if you’re using Windows Explorer, this shows on the title bar of Explorer and on the toolbar) and various other bits and pieces. If you are writing bits of HTML for a blogger blog, you don’t need to worry about the head.

The body is where you have your main text of your website and various tags can be used to arrange and format it.

An important thing to tell the browser is when to start on a new line. Even if you have pressed “Enter” between your paragraphs, they will be displayed in one big lump unless you enter the right code. The two easiest ways to do this are either using paragraph tags or line break tags.

The paragraph tags go around the paragraph like this:

<p>This is a sample paragraph.</p><p>This is the second sample paragraph.</p>

These should then display like this:

This is a sample paragraph.

This is the second sample paragraph.

Note you need to have a start tag and an end tag (with the /
before the p).

The line break tag is unusual in that you don’t have start and end tags. To achieve the same paragraphing effect, I could have entered the following:

<br>This is a sample paragraph.<br>br>This is the second sample paragraph.

Once you have your text arranged, you may want to use bold or italics. These are fairly straight forward to do:

I want to use <b>bold</b> and <i>italics</i>.

This should come out as:

I want to use bold and italics.

In my next HTML post I will try to cover links, pictures and colours.

Making progress

I've managed to get both the kitchen and living room much more functional and liveable in now and the place has been getting a good "spring clean". I haven't got all the ornaments, photos, bits and pieces etc put back yet though as I'm thinking it'd be better to have less stuff out as it'll make it easier to clean. One of our bookcases has a glass door over one section so I'm planning to rearrange the books so I can fit some bits and pieces in there as I can't bring myself to get rid of the stuff. (I pretty much never buy ornaments etc but I'm one of those people who just keeps everything forever so have ended up with loads - I'm working on being bit more ruthless/discerning about them so they don't take over.) I figure if they're in that bookcase I can still enjoy looking at them without them collecting dust and creating extra work. I've rearrnaged the living room slightly too which hopefully will make it more convenient. I've taken some photos so will hopefully do a photo post soon.

Poor Baby Girl is still troubled by her cold. She couldn't sleep after lunch so I've currently got her sleeping in the sling. Although people do claim you can do housework whilst carrying a baby in a sling, I find it too difficult so I have taken the opportunity to catch up on the computer. I've even done a first post on HTML which I'll put up straight after this one.

Well I'd better get moving as it's time for Baby Girl's next feed and she needs waking up.

Friday, 1 February 2008

I'm still here...

...just haven't had the chance to post.

After that week of being completely knocked out with colds, last week we went on a mini holiday to Swaledale. We had a lovely break although not quite as restful as we'd expected as Baby Girl took a bit of time getting used to her travel cot. We had planned on trying it out at home the previous week but with her getting a cold and not sleeping anyway we didn't think it was worth it. Swaledale is beautiful and we got some nice pictures of some waterfalls we visited which I'll post another time.

This week we have had builders in. Finally our landlord decided to get the damp fixed so we have been living upstairs this week. They were supposed to do one full day and then three half days but they hit on some unexpected things in the first day (lots of rubble in the wall cavity apparently) so they ended up doing three full days which was better for us as it meant they finished a day sooner - I'm so glad to have my kitchen back! :)

On Monday we also had a routine development check for Baby Girl and we went to see our doctor about vaccinations. The development check was fine - the Health Visitor mainly just asked questions about what she's able to do now (such as walking around furniture, picking up and dropping objects etc.) and weighed and measured her. The Doctor had no idea about vaccinations and just said that there were no alternatives in his little book of what was available for prescribing. He also said that it was safe (which we told him was not our issue) and suggested that even if we wouldn't have it for ourselves maybe we should give it to her which I thought was a bit strange as surely most parents are more bothered about their children than they are about themselves when it comes to things like this? Anyway, the upshot is we'll have to go privately but thanks to the MMR scare there are plenty of private clinics and it seems fairly easy to get Measles and Mumps jabs that are okay from them but it might be difficult to get hold of the Rubella vaccine. I'll post updates on how we get on with vaccinations.

So, now my cold has almost gone but not quite (I don't feel ill - I'm just constantly blowing my nose) and Baby Girl has gone and got another one. The builders left quite a mess of dust everywhere and we had to move all our stuff so today I have been mostly cleaning and rearranging furniture. I feel like I've got quite a lot done today so hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to get everything more or less back to normal.

We had snow today too. Hubby loves snow so he was looking at all the forecasts online and it doesn't look like it's going to stay but it was fun to watch.

Well hopefully I'll get back into more regular posting next week. Hope you all have a blessed weekend.

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